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The suiting thread


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It is, isn't it. Sky blue stripes on light grey. 


Today, did the inner pocket with the Mayang boy. This is the Japanese way of making them, because every Japanese bespoke jacket I've seen have such a style of pocket on the jacket interior. Mayang boy's turned out quite well too. 

For those of you with great music setups, here's something wonderful:


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I mean, it's amazing isn't it. You're George Lucas and you hire this John Williams to compose a march track for your film. You tell him what it's about, pay him a sum that could buy a house or two, then you wait. Out comes something like that. 

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My PC suddenly would not boot. The error code says that Windows is corrupted. I'm supposed to boot from a pen drive which contains Windows. 

Windows is always corrupting itself. All the time. 

In all the years I've used Android, it has corrupted itself exactly zero times, i. e. never. 

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A picture sent to me by the Mayang boy from our practise session today. 

There are 2 glaring errors to be seen. If he were to trim the shaded portion away, there would be no back shoulder ease (BSE) . I have explained to him at least 10x in various contexts that BSE is to always be present. Since the first week of his employment till now. 

It is there in every jacket he has drafted. It is there in every jacket baste he has sewn. It is there when he final pressed every jacket. 

Yet, he proposes to trim away the BSE. I asked him: what about the BSE? 

He looked at me as though he was born yesterday. He has no clue what BSE is. First time encountering the concept. 

I told him this is the last time I shall talk about the BSE. Our session today ends now, and that his continued employment at JT is at risk unless he completely understands the BSE. 

A couple hours later, I sent him this message:

"The back shoulder seam is always longer than the front shoulder seam by 1cm. There are no exceptions. If you seem to have no idea about this one more time, your employment will be terminated." 

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The BSE is something that is gradually disappearing from tailored jackets in Malaysia. 

The lower tier tailors never cared for it. The upper tier tailors always did, but nowadays even mid tier tailors have lost the feature. 

I once had a coatmaker in his 60s who seem to have never heard of it. Through sheer force of will I compelled him to incorporate it. But ultimately he was too low caliber and I had to fire him. 

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In reality, BSE doesn't have to be a fixed quantity. I mentioned 1cm. I fixed that quantity because people who work in tailoring, and indeed in the manual trades are all pretty dumb. Their brains engage with the world in extremely simplistic ways. Nuance is their enemy.

It can be much larger, say 3/4". But only if you angle the shoulder seam towards the back, creating more of a bias cut to the back shoulder seam. 

But, for those of average intelligence, it's too much information. 1cm is all their brains can hold. 


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I read somewhere that matters of bread is what causes people to go on the streets to topple incumbent regimes. When people have trouble feeding their families, they do that. 

Look, the only businesses operating in the past couple of weeks are those which produce essentials. These businesses are not allowed to operate with more than 60% of their workforce. 

This means that the production of essentials is quite a bit lower. Yet, since these are essentials, demand does not change. 

Demand is as big as before, but production is quite a bit lower. 

This necessarily means an auction system will arise. Price of essentials will rise. Prices for essentials will rise at a time when many have seen significant income reductions. 

If the 60% restriction remains in place, it is just a matter of time before people demand for a regime change with one voice. They do so because they have trouble feeding their families. 

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Let's see how perceptive the government is. If anything will kill them, it is the 60% workforce rule. It lowers production of stuff people need to survive on. This causes an auction to arise. This means a percentage of the population will lose the auction because the ringgits are simply not there. They realise they don't have the notes in their wallet for infant formula. That's when the trouble begins. 

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The demonstrations won't be long in gestation or planning. The majority of the population is quite dumb. Those who lose the auction for essentials even more dumb. 

Dumb means shortsighted. 

They don't really grasp the future. Plan for demonstrations? That's really not them. 

All they know is, the motorcycle is broken and they haven't the money to repair it. The fridge is empty, but so is their wallet. Fuck.

Then it happens. It's spontaneous. They're passive aggressive. 

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Giving people money won't correct the situation. Money is not the issue. The issue is the supply of essentials is below demand. So inflation sets in. Those with money gets the essentials. Those with less, won't. Giving money to those who don't have money will merely cause prices to go higher, and they will still be without essentials. 

You have to fix the production. 

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The view out the window of my back room which I converted into a workroom. Now you see the necessity for the ugly grille. It's a landed house in a bona fide village (Kampung Bukit Tinggi) with wilderness all around it. Not a 15th floor condo in PJ. Without a grille, it is trivial to breach the house and get Rolexes and Grand Seikos lying around, apart from lots of other nice things. 

It's really a farmer's house in a rural place. The interior is really rudimentary. The electrical wiring is from the 1980s, and very inadequate. 

Today, the Mayang boy and I worked on the canvas. Obviously, he from his own workroom (he actually has one in his large house in Taman Mayang---with an industrial sewing machine), and I from mine. We video chat. 


There are two motivations for me to use the MCO to embark on a coatmaking journey. 

1. Potentially make a coatmaker of the Mayang boy. Even if he doesn't reach it, he would have a profound understanding of the jacket in particular, and of high level tailoring techniques in general.

2. Teach myself how to teach coatmaking to young people. Ideally, JT becomes a machine that creates tailors from young fashion design graduates. 

If this works, I will no longer have to hire coatmakers. Most of them are useless anyway. I shall train my own. 


Keeping things interesting in my workroom are these wonders from the UK. Developed to be superior to the BBC LS3/5a, yet the same size. In tiger ebony veneer. 

I have much bigger speakers in other parts of the house which technically outperform these Harbeths. But there is something magical about these little speakers from the 1980s.

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You mean the blue-white striped shirting scrap? If so, yes, very often. Most commonly, pocketing fabric is used. Second most common is lining material. I have lots of shirting scraps so I use those. 


It's not obvious, but the canvas is underneath. It has been provisionally attached to the front via basting stitches. 

You may wonder why progress is so slow. That's mostly because I'm working to the Mayang boy's pace. 

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The Dunning-Kruger effect is very real. To the well-established DK, I'd like to add another effect:

The less you know about a field, the more you underestimate its importance. 

I'm sure there is a name for this principle. But since I don't know its prevalent name, I shall call it the Tok Principle #2. 

If you are in a technical field, you can often immediately tell when someone is at a very rudimentary level. They are so low level that they're not even aware what the game is all about. So basically, they haven't even started playing the game yet. They don't know there is a game. Much less how to play it. 

This is how it is with the field of nutrition and those with high cholesterol. If you know anything about nutrition, it is impossible for you to have high cholesterol. Conversely, if you have high cholesterol, you must necessarily be completely ignorant about nutrition. 

Tok Principle #2 suggests that those with high cholesterol think the field of nutrition is unimportant to their lives. They just need a fix for their LDL. Then, they can happily eat what they eat and never have to delve into the field of nutrition with rigour. 

Those who pay attention to the field of nutrition do not concern themselves with cholesterol. The way a writer doesn't concern himself with spelling. It's too low level. Writers write with a much higher aim than simply to get their spelling right. 

People who are serious about nutrition are not trying to lower their cholesterol. That is never a problem. They play for much higher rewards. 

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Above, a younger Stewart Tyler, founder of ProAC Loudspeakers. One of the greatest speaker designers to have lived. He passed away earlier in the week. Wonderfully attired for the picture. 


The same man recently during an expo. 

I have to say we seem to have devolved where clothes are concerned. 

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